The Marshall sisters 

Mountain romantics on a mission

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Tricia throws in: "We did it all ourselves. I would bake the cakes and goodies and Linda would be the clown." She smiles. "We've always worked well together; always made a really good team."

Linda: "There weren't a lot of people putting on fancy events in those days. So we were asked to do really funky things." She stops. Takes a breath. Laughs some more. "But our attitude was always — no problem. Whatever you want, we can do it..."

Her wedding business — the thing she's best known for in Whistler — kind of grew organically. "We did our first wedding by helicopter and it was staged at the top of Blackcomb," recounts Linda. "I think it was the mayor at the time, Ted Nebbeling who'd recommended us. ..."

The ceremony was held at Crystal Hut, "And we really went to town on it," adds sister Tricia. "Champagne, strawberries, a fully catered meal — we skimped on nothing."

And the word got around quickly — if you wanted a top-notch wedding at Whistler, Linda Marshall was the person to see.

"It's amazing how many weddings I've organized over the years. I was thinking of that a few weeks ago during Florence Peterson's memorial. We worked on so many of them together — she as the wedding commissioner and me as the planner." She stops. Lets a sad smile pass across her face. "I'm really going to miss that woman..."

Neither Tricia nor Linda is a big self-promoter. But when I ask them to list a few of the celebrations they'd put together over the years, the names they threw back at me sounded like a virtual Who's Who of Whistler society... and then some. "We did Nancy Greene's 50th birthday party, and Rob Boyd's wedding, and Britt Janyk's and Willie Raine's and Arthur Griffith's — even Kathy and Bob Barnett's..." And 995 more.

Which brings us back full circle to the December 12th party. Two reasons for it, Linda tells me. "First of all," she says, "we've been having far too many memorial services in Whistler." She sighs. "It seems that the only time the old guard gets together these days is to say goodbye to another deceased pal." It was Deanna White, she explains, who first came up with the idea of holding a "happy" party. "But we couldn't agree on a date... or a venue," continues Linda. "We didn't have any funds to work with, and that kind of limited our options. So we kept putting off the party."

But then it all came together. "People are quite superstitious about their wedding dates," Linda tells me. "You know, they want it on 07-07-07 or 08-08-08." She stops talking. Takes a long breath. "Well, I'm a true romantic," she says, "And I always dreamed of getting married on 12-12-12."

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